Robert Matsui

US Rep. Robert Matsui of California, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), was Wednesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On prospects for Democrats regaining control of the house:

"As long as we have a breeze, we have an excellent shot of taking the House back. I know there are a lot of skeptics.... [But] we targeted very well and our challengers are doing extremely well at this time."

On the number of seats the DCCC is targeting out of 435 in the house:

"We have 35 seats that we are actually targeting.... We have 18 seats that we think are really in play right now."

On whether President Bush or John Kerry will have coattails benefiting candidates for house seats:

"The House races will probably be decided individually. The Republicans are saying that; we feel pretty much the same way. My guess is that there will not be coattails either way."

On the impact of reaching 1,000 American deaths in Iraq:

"The 1,000 casualties will recall attention to exactly what this war is all about and the fact that we haven't found weapons of mass destruction or tied Saddam Hussein with Al Qaeda."

On the loss of ex-president Clinton as a campaigner:

"We had him scheduled for two - and possibly three - events. These would have been very big ... in terms of our fundraising and the fact that he would bring our base out. That is a big loss to us - much greater than anyone could ever imagine."

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